Santa’s Workshop: Accelerating Operations with Blockchain Technology

The growth of the world’s population and impact of globalization trends has increased the demand on Santa’s primary production facility in the North Pole (“Workshop”). The advent of new toys and their underlying technologies increases the need for a more flexible supply chain, smarter elf force, and high-quality production to meet the annual deadline. Accomplishing all of this without being attacked by Jack Frost or his henchman has forced Santa to raise the bar with the Workshop’s analytical and strategic initiatives.

Below we discuss some of the partnerships the Workshop has entered into with blockchain companies to help meet the demands of the next generation. The essential components of the Workshop are broken up into 4 core segments: Snogistics, ER Management, Sleighportation, and Predictive Naughtylitics.

Solutions for Santa’s Operations

Snogistics

The complexity of supply chains due to globalization of production has made it more difficult to obtain critical raw materials and other inputs. This dilemma is only made more cumbersome with the addition of incentives to cheat for illegal or unethical practices due to the opaque nature of expanding to new markets. To solve these issues, Santa partnered with a few tech-minded companies.

On one occasion, Santa needed to source soccer balls from Sialkot, Pakistan for children in Mexico City, Mexico. The issues with Asian soccer ball production and sourcing include (i) disputes of transfers between entities, (ii) systems and records management being subject to errors / manipulation, and (iii) the use of child labor.

To combat these obstacles, Santa partnered with Halotrade to improve verification and product tracking. Upgrading their software enabled real-time tracking of goods from production to delivery. The protocol also included an automatic P/O facilitation and financing instructions that automatically trigger at each step of the production process. This reduced burden allows Santa to use that time more effectively, such as training junior elves for the next generation of toy technologies, adding elf-power to help reduce the effect of bottlenecks, and beginning FY19 planning a bit earlier.   

Recording the data also improved knowledge of when he needs certain elves to be ready to go. When the junior sized soccer balls were close, he was able to wake up the dwarf elves and optimize the workplace for packaging and distribution. When the professional soccer balls came in, Santa needed to make sure the athletic moon elves were available for additional testing before going to the dwarf elves.

Recording data at each stage also let Santa know where the hiccups were.  It informed him of what partners got the job done, if the Workshop needs to diversify production in any one area, and to help identify declines in quality over time.

Santa also partners with Provenance to get a better idea of who the supplies were coming from. Were payments being made to money laundering opium producers? Were certain individuals cheating the supply chain to smuggle illegal goods? Were the diamonds he acquired from the Venetia mine in South clean? Provenance gave the Workshop team additional confidence that they would not ironically find themselves on the naughty list next year.  

In the words of the Workshop’s Director of Snogistics Frosty the Snowman, “Our partnerships have improved the transparency of our blockchain and made our operations more predictable. In an industry troubled with elf shortages and increasing demand, our partners give us confidence that the choices we make are founded on the best data.”

Elf Resources Management

As elves began working more and more from their homes around the world, the complexity of implementing efficient payment systems reduced the ability to recruit from emerging markets. Also, as we all know, about half of all elves lie on resumes. The certification of skills was a difficult task. Understanding the range of toy-making abilities is essential in the planning and design of the Workshop’s processes. As the ER Management’s Director Buddy the Elf Jr. notes “capability without strategy and strategy without capability are meaningless. Our partnerships help us bridge gaps in our organization.”

What partnerships? The Workshop recently entered into an agreement with Bitwage to find remote elves all over the world, set up payment terminals for their location, and receive invoices in any currency. The platform gave Santa access to almost 20,000 potential workers with sophistication in all parts of the toy making business.

To make sure they didn’t make the wrong decision, the Workshop also partnered with Vottun to create unique certificates applicable to the toy making world. It made sure they were hiring highly-skilled elves at a fraction of today’s recruiting costs.

Sleighportation

As reindeer gather all over the world to help with global coordination, maintenance of communication infrastructure, and, if they are lucky enough – fly Santa’s sleigh – the challenge of flying to everyone’s house in one night seems daunting. The now-retired Comet said, “you would think Christmas Eve is the busiest night, but setting up information architecture to understand weather patterns, conflicts around the world, condition of the sleigh, etc. are just as difficult.” 

Santa recently partnered with the Blockchain in Transport Alliance to create unique solutions to the tasks at hand. Working in coordination together, they were able to create a dashboard of real-time information for Santa to navigate during his night ride. The staff brought unique solutions from some of the top companies in the world – check out the list here – as well as the unique perspective and the technological advantage of blockchain. Safety has always been a priority of the Workshop, having delivered presents without injury for the last 10,000 years.

Predictive Naughtylitics

The ability to track and forecast naughty children to quantify the optimal level of coal necessitates advanced computers constantly slicing and dicing data structures. Santa, who takes pride in his leadership at the analytics department, spoke of the importance of applying next generation technology. He said “the complexity of right versus wrong, the impact of coal, and estimating how awesome the gift should be all require a deep understanding of statistics. Using blockchain tech, we get access to better information at an efficient price to run the right models.”

The Workshop recently partnered with the Golem network to increase accessibility to advanced computing power. They also partnered with Filecoin to buy the exact amount of storage units they need and add flexibility to their IT infrastructure in case they need to scale quickly. With all the information they created, a critical component of right sizing operations was establishing the ability to interpret the data and actively monitor when people move back and forth across the naughty/nice equilibrium. To gain further comfort in delivery success, Santa partnered with Chainalysis to make sure they are delivering coal to naughty kids, mediocre gifts to children that were mostly good, and the best gifts ever for nice children.

Summary

While many of these projects are still in their pilot / testing phases, 2019 should be an interesting year as blockchain becomes more normalized as a business tool. The recent blockchain hangover in the media related to the precipitous price declines of cryptocurrencies only masks the value generation we are beginning to see at a micro level.

(Yes, this article is satirical)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!